SilverStone Strider Gold S 1500W PSU Review

SilverStone has a long tradition of offering small PSUs, and the new ST1500-GS is an excellent example of this, achieving an impressive 646 watt per liter power density score.

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A Look Inside And Component Analysis

Parts Description

Our main tools for disassembling PSUs are a Thermaltronics soldering and rework station and a Hakko 808 desoldering gun.

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Primary Side
OEMEnhance Electronics
Transient Filter4x Y caps, 4x X caps, 2x CM chokes, 1x MOV, 1x CM02X
Inrush Protection2x NTC Thermistor, 2x Relays
Bridge Rectifier(s)1x LL15XB60 (600V, 15A @ 124°C)
APFC MOSFETs3x Infineon SPW60R099C6 (650V, 24A @ 100°C, 0.099Ohm)
APFC Boost Diode1x STTH3006DPI (600V, 30A @ 150°C)
Hold-up Cap(s)4x Matsushita (Panasonic) (420V, 270uF each - 1080uF combined, 105°C)
Main Switchers4x Infineon IPP60R160C6 (650V, 15A @ 100°C, 0.16Ohm)
APFC ControllerChampion CM6500 - CM03X
Switching ControllerChampion CM6901
TopologyPrimary side: Full-Bridge & LLC Resonant Converter Secondary side: Syncronous Rectification & DC-DC converters
Secondary Side
+12V MOSFETs16x International Rectifier IRFH7004TRPBF (40V, 164A @ 100°C, 1.4mOhm)
5V & 3.3VDC-DC Converters: 2x MOSFETs 2x APW7073 PWM Controllers
Filtering CapacitorsElectrolytics: Nippon Chemi-Con (105°C, KZE, KZH), Rubycom (105°C), Taicon (105°C), Suncon (105°C) Polymers: Teapo (2000h @ 105°C, CG)
Supervisor ICSITI PS223 (OVP, UVP, OCP, SCP, OTP )
Fan ModelYoung Lin Tech Double Ball-Bearing Fan DFB132512H (135mm, 12V, 3W, 2500RPM)
5VSB Circuit
Rectifying Diode1x SBL10SL60FCTH
Standby PWM ControllerSTR-A6062H (15W @ 230VAC, 13W @ Universal)

The ST1500-GS is made by Enhance Electronics and the platform is definitely a high-end unit. On the primary side a full-bridge topology is used along with an LLC resonant converter; on the secondary side both VRMs are installed on the modular PCB for decreased energy loss, while the MOSFETs that regulate the +12V rail are installed on the solder side of the mainboard. The PCB has small dimensions and the design is clean. In addition, although the APFC heat sink is large, the heat sink that holds the primary switchers is small; on the secondary side there is no heat sink, since the chassis handles the cooling of the +12V FETs.

The first part of the EMI filter is on the AC receptacle and consists of two Y and two X caps. The same filter continues on the main PCB with two X and two Y caps, two CM chokes and an MOV. There is also a CM02X on the solder side of the main PCB. This IC increases efficiency by blocking the flow of current through the discharge resistor of the X cap when voltage is connected and automatically allows current flow for the X cap to be discharged once the AC is disconnected. What made quite an impression on us was that we found two NTC thermistors for protection against large inrush currents, along with two relays. Apparently, SilverStone and Enhance take inrush current protection very seriously, outfitting this PSU with four APFC caps.

The pair of bridge rectifiers is provided by Shindengen. Their model number is LL15XB60 (600V, 15A @ 124 degrees Celsius). Combined, they can handle up to 30A of current, so they will easily handle the needs of this PSU. In the APFC converter three Infineon SPW60R099C6 (650V, 24A @ 100 C, 0.099Ohm) FETs are used along with a single STTH3006DPI (600V, 30A @ 150 C) boost diode. The bulk caps are provided by Matsushita/Panasonic (420V, 270uF, 105 C) and their combined capacity is 1080uF, which looks low for this PSU. Finally, the APFC controller is a Champion CM6500, and it is installed on a small daughterboard right next to the APFC's heat sink. A CM03X Green PFC controller is installed on the same board as the CM6500.

Four Infineon IPP60R160C6 (650V, 15A @ 100 C, 0.16Ohm) FETs are the main switchers and are arranged in a full-bridge topology, while an LLC resonant converter decreases energy loss on the switching FETs. The primary transformer has compact dimensions for a 1.5 kW unit and on the two heat sinks that reside next to it are two thermistors, providing data to the OTP (Over Temperature Protection) and fan control circuits. Finally, the electrolytic caps on the secondary side are rated at 105 C and are provided mostly by Chemi-Con. We also spotted some Rubycon caps along with a single Taicon cap. Besides electrolytic caps, Enhance used enough Teapo polymers. 

An amazing number of International Rectifier FETs regulate the +12V rail with all 16 of them installed on the solder side of the main PCB. Their model number is IRFH7004TRPBF (40V, 164A @ 100°C, 1.4mOhm), and Enhance is clearly using this many of them in an effort to increase efficiency, since the more FETs, the fewer amps each one of them has to handle. In addition, less energy loss on these FETs leads to a lower thermal load, allowing for a more relaxed fan profile. The minor rails are generated by two VRMs (Voltage Regulation Modules), which are installed on the modular PCB. Each VRM uses an APW7073 PWM controller along with a single FET, which we couldn't recognize due to the partially erased markings.

The standby PWM controller is an STR-A6062H (15W @ 230VAC, 13W @ Universal) IC, whereas the SBR (Schottky Barrier Rectifier) that rectifies the 5VSB rail is an SBL10SL60FCTH.

On the front side of the modular PCB several Teapo polymer caps filter the minor rails while four small Suncon electrolytic caps further suppress ripple. With the modular PCB exposed, we had the chance to take a better look at the small four-pin connector, which is for the +12V, 5V and 3.3V sense wires. The PSU's PWM/FM controller receives load-regulation feedback through this connector in order to adjust the DC output rails accordingly. On the back side of the modular PCB, the traces are enhanced and in some cases shorted together with a rather sloppy method, by soldering copper wires directly on them. Finally, on the front of the modular PCB, we found the LLC resonant controller (Champion CM6901) and the protections IC, a SITI PS223.

Soldering quality on the main PCB in most areas is very good. At a one spot, however, Enhance decided to increase the conductivity of the traces by soldering the copper wires, with ugly results. Despite the unappealing look, we are reasonably certain that this significantly improved the electrical conductivity. However, in the next revision of this platform, Enhance should make the necessary changes in the design, to avoid using this sloppy method.

The cooling fan is provided by Young Lin Tech; its model number is DFB132512H (135mm, 12V, 3W, 2500 RPM). It uses a double ball-bearing for increased life, and although there is no semi-passive mode at light and medium loads, the fan is fairly quiet considering it cools down a 1500 W PSU, which spins at very low speeds when the thermal load isn't high.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.

  • Eggz
    Too bad for this model, but I can't wait to see what this watt-per-litre ratio does for SFX!
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    Someone bothered enough by the 5VSB power draw to bend under their desk or reach over wherever the switch ends up being in their setup to switch the PSU off should be similarly bothered by the standby power draw of their displays, USB hub, external HDDs and other devices enough to want to turn them all off as well. The simplest way to achieve that is plugging everything into one power strip and turning everything on/off at once from there.

    Also, leaving the 5VSB supply on 24/7 costs less than $0.20/year in power. How much does a replacement CR2032 battery cost and how many power-off hours does it last? It might be cheaper to leave the 5VSB power on.

    The only time where I cut power completely off is during power outages to spare my components all the surges and sags over the first few seconds after power comes back on.
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    I don't think I'll ever have a use personally for a 1500w PC, but if I need that kind of juice this is exactly what I'd be looking at.

    Not the best option, clearly, but what you'd expect from a Gold rated PSU and solid build integrity that should last a long time. I would test this PSU without a fan or with a low noise Noctua fan.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    Someone bothered enough by the 5VSB power draw to bend under their desk or reach over wherever the switch ends up being in their setup to switch the PSU off should be similarly bothered by the standby power draw of their displays, USB hub, external HDDs and other devices enough to want to turn them all off as well. The simplest way to achieve that is plugging everything into one power strip and turning everything on/off at once from there.

    Also, leaving the 5VSB supply on 24/7 costs less than $0.20/year in power. How much does a replacement CR2032 battery cost and how many power-off hours does it last? It might be cheaper to leave the 5VSB power on.

    The only time where I cut power completely off is during power outages to spare my components all the surges and sags over the first few seconds after power comes back on.

    While I agree with you for the most part, I have had a set of Creative Labs speakers for 10 years that have a remote that use a CR2032 and it is still good with plenty of use and standby time.

    I do agree though that it is annoying not to have the switch on the PSU. Of course I look at it from a repair point of view where having that option is faster than pulling the plug every time I would need to test something.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    16447176 said:
    While I agree with you for the most part, I have had a set of Creative Labs speakers for 10 years that have a remote that use a CR2032 and it is still good with plenty of use and standby time.
    A good battery-operated remote tries very hard to minimize leakage and standby current while a computer RTC which may expect to have 5VSB power available all the time except during power outages has little reason to go to extremes to minimize battery power draw.

    My old Sears TV's remote drains 4xAA in less than a year.
    Reply
  • mctylr
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    In my experience the power supply switch is primarily a convenience, used to ensure a power supply and connected system is de-energized when servicing the computer; inserting or removing components, such as swapping video cards, installing storage drives, etc. This is because the 5VSB (5 volt stand-by) is supplied by the motherboard to PCI and PCI express slots, as well as obviously flowing across a few of the PCB traces, so it is recommended to disconnect power, including stand-by voltage to prevent accidents.
    Reply
  • Frozen Fractal
    Errrm, there's a typo in the article. Look at page 3, the same paragraph has been repeated :)
    Reply
  • Frozen Fractal
    While I don't bother about in-build power switches so much since I always switch off/on via the main wall socket anyway, but it's a nice addition to cater to everyone's need, which is especially expected in these kind of high-wattage PSUs. When we talk about 1.5kW, compromise is what people would reluctantly want.

    Judging by the actual results of the PSU, I think "80+ Silver" should've fitted nicely with it. That way, it wouldn't defame "80+ Gold" Standard :P What I mean actually is, it's barely holding on to the 80+ gold standard. While it doesn't actually translate to significant deal breaker, it's somewhat disappointing to see 550W-approved things in this 1.5kW unit.

    However, the PCB neatness certainly gets my thumbs up. Among the most units I've seen from different distributors and OEMs, this one looks very neat (apart from the gooey use of solder there, Ewwww!), components are arranged very nicely, and there aren't any glue (or whatever you wanna say them) oozing out from or underneath heatsinks and FETs.
    Reply